Barley, pearl barley – once food of the poor, today grain of increasing popularity – has been cultivated for a long time, since 7000 BC in Ethiopia and SE Asia.

In comparison with wheat it is more resilient to harsher climates, but it needs fertile soil, because its roots are rather weak in getting nutrients and water.

Its chemical composition is comparable with other grains. In comparison with wheat it contains a bit less proteins and a bit more fats.

Pearl barley is also know as barley groat.

Did you know?

  • Most of the barley is used as fodder or as a resource for brewing beer and whiskey.
  • If roasted, barley can be used to make a barley coffee – a popular coffee substitute, that does not contain caffeine.
  • In the northern parts of Europe bread is also made out of barley flour.
pearl barley

Culinary use:

In the kitchen barley is most often used pealed – pearl barley -, the main ingredient for a traditional Slovene dish called ričet.

It is an excellent substitute for rice in risotto, useful also as a side dish, for soups, stews and salads.


We usually store barley in a well closed container in a cool and dry space.